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Peter Blust credits commitment to Hinsdale Central's Strong Finish

Peter Blust credits commitment to Hinsdale Central's strong finish

Patrick Kelly

Pioneer Press

Hinsdale Central had won eight straight games before its season ended with a 48-44 loss to Glenbard West at the Class 4A Hinsdale Central Regional final on Friday, Mar. 4.

Red Devils coach Nick Latorre did not think that the late-season streak was an indication that his team was playing drastically different from the start of the year.

"I thought we played good ball all year, I really did," Latorre said. "It was not like all of a sudden the light clicked on. It was all of a sudden we started winning some close games."

Leading scorer and rebounder Peter Blust did notice some changes during the final stretch of the season, which included a Feb. 23 win against Hinsdale South.

"I think we just bonded more," said Blust, a senior forward. "We locked in on defense. We committed ourselves.

"Guys knew their role and really came into them nicely. There is nobody on that team that I would not trust on that floor."

Blust finished his high school career with a team-high 14 points against Glenbard West (25-3), the No. 2 seed in the East Aurora Sectional. The 10th-seeded Red Devils finished 17-11.

"(Blust) has been incredibly important, but he does not act more important than anybody else," Latorre said. "He is a great teammate. He is unselfish. He works as hard as anybody in practice. When your best player is one of your hardest workers, it certainly makes it easy on the coach. He filled that role."

Against Glenbard West, the Red Devils got a glimpse of where some of the scoring punch may come from next season.

Juniors Chris Eck (six points) and Tomas Misiunas (eight points) both started against the Hilltoppers, while sophomore Trevor Hamilton and junior Jack Hoiberg were prominent players off the bench.

"I think the experience that all the junior and sophomore guards got this season is going to be extremely valuable," Latorre said.

Hoiberg followed up a 12-point performance in a 52-50 regional semifinal victory against Wheaton North with nine points against Glenbard West. All of his points came in the fourth quarter.

"I just had opportunities to go to the basket and be aggressive in that quarter," Hoiberg said. "Peter found me a couple of times. I just took advantage of the opportunities and got in the lane and scored a few times."

Hoiberg should be one of the leaders for Hinsdale Central next season.

"The last four or five games he has really emerged," Latorre said. "He has been in those circumstances. He was a two-year varsity player in Iowa, so once he got comfortable with our system, he really started to flourish. His development was incredible.

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